Are non-breeding animals “super-spreaders” of disease?

Juliet Lamb, Jeremy Tornos, Romain Dedet, Hubert Gantelet, Nicolas Keck, Juliette Baron, Marine Bely, Augustin Clessin, Aline Flechet, Amandine Gamble, Thierry Boulinier This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Most wildlife tracking studies focus on breeders, which are easy to observe and capture at their breeding sites. In any given year, however, many individuals do … Continue reading Are non-breeding animals “super-spreaders” of disease?

Nomadic birds depart with moderate—but not large—fuel stores

Joely G. DeSimone, Beverly S. Domschot, Megan A. Fylling, William M. Blake, Creagh W. Breuner This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here.               Migration is a common animal behavior, allowing animals to track food sources that vary across time and space. Many birds migrate seasonally—breeding in the north and spending the non-breeding season to the … Continue reading Nomadic birds depart with moderate—but not large—fuel stores

Predicted extinctions target the planet’s most unique bird species

Jarome R. Ali, Benjamin W. Blonder, Alex L. Pigot, Joseph A. Tobias This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Extinction rates are projected to increase worldwide, but it remains unclear how this loss of biodiversity might affect the way ecosystems function. Since ecological processes are hard to quantify at global scales, morphological traits can provide … Continue reading Predicted extinctions target the planet’s most unique bird species

Reduced lean mass and delays in resuming bird migration

Mariamar Gutierrez Ramirez, Michael S. Griego, Joely G. DeSimone, Cory R. Elowe, Alexander R. Gerson This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Every spring, billions of birds depart their non-breeding grounds in Central and South America and fly non-stop across the Gulf of Mexico to return to their breeding grounds in North America. After such … Continue reading Reduced lean mass and delays in resuming bird migration

Immune function and songbird migration

Vera Brust, Cas Eikenaar, Florian Packmor, Heiko Schmaljohann, Ommo Hüppop, Gábor Á. Czirják This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Many species of songbirds breeding in northern Europe escape the cold times of the year, when food is scarce, and travel south. The small birds undertake journeys of several hundreds to thousands of kilometers twice … Continue reading Immune function and songbird migration

Frugivorous birds adjust their diet to achieve their nutritional goals

Pedro G. Blendinger, Tobias N. Rojas, Andrés F. Ramírez-Mejía, Irene M. A. Bender, Silvia Lomáscolo, Julieta Magro, M. Gabriela Núñez Montellano, Román A. Ruggera, Mariana Valoy, Mariano Ordano This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. You may have come across announcements that say something like: “Eat fruits and vegetables”. No doubt this sign would be … Continue reading Frugivorous birds adjust their diet to achieve their nutritional goals

Family feud? Birds show no apparent cost to coexisting with close relatives

Nicholas M. A. Crouch, David Jablonski This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. It is a classic observation that biodiversity – defined as the number of species in a location – varies dramatically across the globe. Researchers have long thought that increasing species richness in a location must impact the ecology of those species to … Continue reading Family feud? Birds show no apparent cost to coexisting with close relatives

A hidden cost of climate change? Cold weather increases the sensitivity of birds to future challenges

Maren N. Vitousek, Jennifer L. Houtz, Monique A. Pipkin, David A. Chang van Oordt, Kelly K. Hallinger, Jennifer J. Uehling, Cedric Zimmer, Conor C. Taff This a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article that can be found here. Despite the rise in global temperatures, some populations and species have also begun to experience more frequent or more extreme cold weather. This can … Continue reading A hidden cost of climate change? Cold weather increases the sensitivity of birds to future challenges

Coexisting finch species change where they go and what they eat when food resources decline

Sydney J. Collett, Tara L. Crewe, Ian J. Radford, Stephen T. Garnett and Hamish A. Campbell This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article that can be found here. How similar species co-exist has long intrigued ecologists. Gouldian, masked and long-tailed finches, three finches from the tropical Australian savannas, are similar in size and feed together through most of the year. … Continue reading Coexisting finch species change where they go and what they eat when food resources decline

Variable relationships between trait diversity and avian ecological functions in agroecosystems

Rocío Peña, Matthias Schleuning, Marcos Miñarro M., Daniel García This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Overall, there is a general consensus that greater biotic richness and complexity guarantees better and different types of ecosystem processes (e.g., pollination or seed dispersal). That is, ecosystems with high biodiversity are generally associated with higher levels of ecological … Continue reading Variable relationships between trait diversity and avian ecological functions in agroecosystems